Fashioned Selves (Paperback)
Dress and Identity in Antiquity
The study of dress in antiquity has expanded in the last 20 years, evolving from investigations of costume and ethnicity in ancient art and texts and analyses of terms relating to textiles and their production, to broader studies of the social roles of dressed bodies in ancient contexts, texts, and images. This volume emerges from Approaches to Dress and the Body sessions at the Annual Meetings of the American Schools of Oriental Research in 2016 and 2017, as well as sessions relating to ancient dress and personal adornment at the Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America in 2018. Following the broad notion of dress first presented in Eicher and Roach-Higgins in 1992 as the “assemblage of modifications of the body and/or supplements to the body,” the contributions to this volume study varied materials, including physical markings on the body, durable goods related to dressed bodies in archaeological contexts, dress as represented in the visual arts as well as in texts, most bringing overlapping bodies of evidence into play.
Examining materials from a range of geographic and chronological contexts including the prehistoric Caucasus, Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant, the Aegean, Greece, the Roman world and Late Antique Central Asia, this volume takes as its starting point that dress does not simply function as a static expression of identity or status, inscribed on the body to be “read” by others, but is a dynamic component in the construction, embodiment, performance and transformation of identity.